Stephen in the News: People are normal until they check into a hotel room…

Hotels are typically fairly lenient on accidents in rooms and damage caused by guests, despite worries we may have to the contrary. Injuries, spills and other accidents can cause damage that is usually covered by the hotel itself. But why, exactly, do so many hotels find themselves dealing with strange guest accidents? In a story published by the Washington Post, numerous accounts of random accidents and strange behavior are recounted by guests and hotel staff. The question posed, however, is why do people act differently in their hotel rooms than they would in normal life?

“People are normal until they check into a hotel room,” said Stephen Barth, professor of hospitality law at the University of Houston and founder of “If you stayed at your friend’s house, typically you wouldn’t walk off with the towels, or jump up and down on the bed, or answer the door naked.”

Many attribute the change in behavior to a lack of ownership for the new digs, and others say it must be a vacation or travel mindset.

Luckily for most travelers, however, unless the hotel suspects malicious intent, guests are usually let off the hook for damage and accidents.

Read the full article here.

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